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Old 02-27-2011, 05:22 PM   #1
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Question Spondylolysis and spondylolysthesis help

Hey everybody, this is my first post on this website. Its actually gonna be the first time I have asked anyone for help other than my doc and parents.

I was at a football practice my freshman year of high school, last year, and I fell and took another linemans knee in the small of the back. I had no idea, but I fractured the pars on the L5 vertabrae on the right side, and my first doc made me go to physical therapy for two months until I told him it wasnt helping. He got me a nuclear bone scan, and found out it was fractured and sent me to another doctor. The next doctor put me in a back brace for six months, and it didnt help, so I faked being better and had him clear me for woking out. I did crossfit workouts for around three months and felt amazing, until I fractured the left side of the pars on the L5 vertabrae squatting. I went to my primary who sent me to a different specialist, and he said the brace messed my muscles up from my hamstrings up to my pecs and shoulders. He sent me to physical therapy where I am now and it wasn't helping. I began to get muscle spasms that would force me to come home from school and he gave me flexeril to help. It didnt do anything, so he gave me ultram, which helps, but I get agressive the next day from them so I stopped taking them. I finally went back to him a fifth time, and he told me he was stumped and sent me to ANOTHER specialist, who showed me I have a grade 2 spondylolysthesis now, and set me up with a bilateral L4 L5 cortisone injection and prescribed me Celebrex for inflamation.

That leads to where I am now. Two years later, a sixteen year old highschool kid who now has on and off depression and cant stand up for more than five minutes at a time without severe pain. The cortisone was just done about five days ago, and it feels like it made my pain worse. Now I cant sit down without pain, and it takes me three hours to fall to sleep at night. Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Advil, and Aleve dont even touch my pain, and Celebrex doesnt do jack squat either. The only thing left for pain medication is narcotics and I cant even handle non narcotic Ultram without getting pissy at everyone around me. I have no idea what to do anymore, and any reasons for my pain being worse after the shot would be awesome. Any advice with how to deal with the pain, and what I can do to help strengthen my back would be awesome. Its just becoming overwhelming between the pain, school, and the conflicting logic of doctors.

 
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Old 02-28-2011, 07:41 AM   #2
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Re: Spondylolysis and spondylolysthesis help

Welcome to the board. I hope you will find some support and answers to your questions here.

I assume since you have seen a variety of doctors, that among them are some fellowship-trained spine specialists? This would be either an orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon who devote their practice to issues of the neck and back....sometimes kids are sent to sports medicine docs, which would not be optimal with your current problems.

As you can see, your problems are getting worse, not improving.

Your problems are now complex and as you have found out, different medical professionals will have different opinions as to how you should be treated. I could suggest to you how a spondylolisthesis is treated, in general, but due to your young age, and the fact that you are still growing, I cannot say.

Often a fusion is necessary to stabilize the spine. But in someone who is still growing, I doubt this would be recommended.

I'm afraid you may have to spend some time doing some research to find a spine specialist who will be the most appropriate for your specific condition. Try not to let yourself become discouraged...but there is someone out there who can help you. But it is very important that you keep looking for some specialist who will take into account your age when figuring out how to treat you.

With almost any spine problem, there are a series of conservative measures that are prescribed at the beginning, among them physical therapy and steroid injections. Sometimes they help, but often they do not, so do not be discoouraged by this "failure."

You live in a large metropolitan area, so you should be able to find someone who will understand your condition. I would suggest you spend some time on the internet looking for someone in the greater Phoenix area that is a pediatric spine specialist or pediatric spine surgeon. I noticed there are a number who are trained to treat both pediatric and adult spine problems. Otherwise, perhaps there is a large spine clinic associated with one of the universities. Your situation has become sufficiently complex that it will take someone with special training to be able to see all the issues and treat you.

 
Old 02-28-2011, 08:13 AM   #3
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Re: Spondylolysis and spondylolysthesis help

I am sorry you are going through this at such a young age--it must be so frustrating to be unable to be your usual active self.

I totally agree with Teri about finding a specialist who is an expert in spine conditions. Can you talk with your parents about getting a referral? Insurance sometimes dictates what steps have to be taken in treatment, but it sounds as if you have tried the more conservative measures with no relief.

I hope you can get to a specialist soon. Please keep us posted.

 
Old 02-28-2011, 08:50 AM   #4
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Re: Spondylolysis and spondylolysthesis help

I am very sorry that you are having to deal with these issues at such a young age. It's difficult for anyone to have spinal problems, but much more so when you are a young person. That's one reason it is very important to follow the advice of the other posters and see a spine specialist who deals with the pediatric side of these issues. You are still growing, so I doubt that surgery would be suggested, but if it is, do get a second and even a 3rd opinion as this would be a serious step and should only be done if all other modes of treatment don't help.

While you are waiting for the appt., please try not to "push" thru the pain and do things that could be harmful. It would be best to avoid physical activity such as lifting or participating in sports. You might try using an ice pack at the area of pain as that may help; you can try a heating pad as well and see which one, if any, gives you some relief.

Keep in mind that just because you have trouble taking Ultram, that doesn't mean that other medications will cause the same problems. Many doctors will be reluctant to prescribe narcotics to one so young, so don't be surprised if they withhold them for now.

Please continue to post and let us know how you are doing and what kind of treatment is available for you thru the specialist. I wish you the very best and hope that relief is in your near future.

Carol
__________________
Lumbar surgery x 7 over the last 30 years.
cervical fusion...2 levels
medtronic pain pump implanted
Last surgery Oct, 2010, 3 levels

 
Old 04-11-2011, 04:20 PM   #5
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Re: Spondylolysis and spondylolysthesis help

[QUOTE=aidanl;4694884]Hey everybody, this is my first post on this website. Its actually gonna be the first time I have asked anyone for help other than my doc and parents.

I was at a football practice my freshman year of high school, last year, and I fell and took another linemans knee in the small of the back. I had no idea, but I fractured the pars on the L5 vertabrae on the right side, and my first doc made me go to physical therapy for two months until I told him it wasnt helping. He got me a nuclear bone scan, and found out it was fractured and sent me to another doctor. The next doctor put me in a back brace for six months, and it didnt help, so I faked being better and had him clear me for woking out. I did crossfit workouts for around three months and felt amazing, until I fractured the left side of the pars on the L5 vertabrae squatting. I went to my primary who sent me to a different specialist, and he said the brace messed my muscles up from my hamstrings up to my pecs and shoulders. He sent me to physical therapy where I am now and it wasn't helping. I began to get muscle spasms that would force me to come home from school and he gave me flexeril to help. It didnt do anything, so he gave me ultram, which helps, but I get agressive the next day from them so I stopped taking them. I finally went back to him a fifth time, and he told me he was stumped and sent me to ANOTHER specialist, who showed me I have a grade 2 spondylolysthesis now, and set me up with a bilateral L4 L5 cortisone injection and prescribed me Celebrex for inflamation.

That leads to where I am now. Two years later, a sixteen year old highschool kid who now has on and off depression and cant stand up for more than five minutes at a time without severe pain. The cortisone was just done about five days ago, and it feels like it made my pain worse. Now I cant sit down without pain, and it takes me three hours to fall to sleep at night. Tylenol, Ibuprofen, Advil, and Aleve dont even touch my pain, and Celebrex doesnt do jack squat either. The only thing left for pain medication is narcotics and I cant even handle non narcotic Ultram without getting pissy at everyone around me. I have no idea what to do anymore, and any reasons for my pain being worse after the shot would be awesome. Any advice with how to deal with the pain, and what I can do to help strengthen my back would be awesome. Its just becoming overwhelming between the pain, school, and the conflicting logic of doctors.[/QUOTE]

Hey aidanl,
I'm surely sorry that you have this condition at such a young age. The pain is worse after the injection due to a condition called "steroid flare". I had the same problem, but it lasted only a couple days. And that injection was in the bursa in my outer hip, not my back. Due to that experience I have been too scared to have the spinal injections. I have been on Hydrocodone 7.5/325 for 3 yrs and it's the only thing that I take, other than a soma at night to sleep. I did take ultram several years ago for an injury to my neck and didn't find that they helped. I do stay as active as possible, and core strengthening definitely helps. Find you a good neurosurgeon, research him, and go talk to him. I don't know if surgery is the answer, and I haven't considered it yet, but I'm also not 16. Good luck, and don't do anything without lots of research.

 
Old 09-23-2011, 12:04 AM   #6
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aidanl HB User
Re: Spondylolysis and spondylolysthesis help

Thank you so much everyone for all of your support and advice. I had a procedure called an ablasion done on the l4 and l5 branch nerves, and it has helped substantially. I still get pain, but i am actually able to function and have been able to work out again for about a month now. I am still getting better mentally considering i feel like i lost a portion of my life to a stupid condition, but i am also learning how helpful this obstacle has been on my outlook on life. I thank everyone who took time out of their day to post and make my experience a little more tolerable.

Thank you again,
Aidan

 
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